India is all set to launch their ICC T20 World Cup 2022 Super 12 campaign against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 23 October.
With a lot of enthusiasm going on in the great match, former India cricketer Suresh Raina, a member of the 2011 ODI World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy victories, feels the Rohit Sharma-led side needs to start the tournament well and everything else is fine. Will be done.
In an exclusive interview with IANS, Raina, named as India’s brand ambassador for Booking.com, spoke about the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja ahead of the India-Pakistan match, and the role of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rishabh Kumar as a pacer. He has discussed these issues in detail on how Pant would fit in the playing XI.
Question: India will face Pakistan in their first match of T20 World Cup on 23rd October, what are your thoughts about this great match at MCG?
Answer: To be honest, you just need to enjoy the game. This is what Team India is going to do. The match will take place in a very high pressure manner. You just need to play good 40 overs of cricket because playing in Australia is a completely different situation. India have the edge as they have played a lot of matches there.
Rohit, Virat, KL (Rahul) and other bowlers have played a lot of matches there and know how to use the conditions. In such a situation, this match will be very important for Team India.
Question. India is missing Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja in the T20 World Cup. How do you think the disappearance of these two players from the mega event will affect the Indian team?
Answer: Although he got injured, we have got players in his place. I know you can’t replace them, because at the end of the day, you only need to think about controlling things. Sure, Shami comes now and Axar Patel is doing well too. You have to have the right combination and which player you want to go with.
I would say the team is looking good now. They have been to Australia a long time ago, so they must be going through very good procedures.
We have Suryakumar Yadav, so Rohit Sharma is a very good leader. Virat is in very good form right now and Hardik Pandya will be a key member of the Indian team. He will bowl some good overs in the power-play, then he has to bat really well.
Question. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the most experienced fast bowler in the Indian team in the absence of Bumrah. Do you think he can play the role of a fast bowler?
Answer: Bhuvi is an experienced bowler. He has done really well. Sometimes you go for runs, but he still has that swing. He is still the best player to captain because he always matters the most, when Virat scored a century he also took five wickets against Afghanistan and bowled really well.
Along with Arshdeep and Harshal, Bhuvi will help them with his extra experience and will do really well for India.
Question. Rishabh Pant has been in and out of the T20 team for the Indian team in the last few matches. Also he has either batted in the middle order or has opened, so where do you see him fit into India’s T20 plan in future as well?
Answer: He is an important player. He has done that (runs first) in Australia. He has scored centuries there and won the Gabba Test for us. That’s an X-factor because if you look at players 1-6, there is no lefty batter.
So, how they are going to use that is very important. He is a very good player and knows how to bat under pressure. Hopefully, management must be thinking how to use them.
Question. Also, where would you like to see Pant bat in T20 Internationals? Will it be as an opener or in the middle order?
Answer: It depends on what their location will be. It is up to the coach Rahul and Rohit how they want to use them in the eleven. You just need to have a lefty batsman as an X-factor. I hope they do it.
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